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100 Years of Aviation

100 years of aviation

On 17 December 1903, Orville Wright piloted the first powered airplane 20 feet above a wind-swept beach in North Carolina. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet. Less than 12 years later, on 13 February 1915, Malta experienced the first flight by a powered airplane when a naval Short Seaplane took off from the Grand Harbour after being hoisted off-deck.

This event marked the beginning of a new era for Malta. One hundred years ago, our country was a very different place. Ships were the only transport mode linking the islands of Malta to the outside world; they were slow and always at the mercy of the sea. Aviation was to bring with it a much faster link to the outside world.
Military aviation of the early years was soon followed by regular commercial air transport between Malta and its neighbours. Malta’s military and commercial relevance, given its strategic location in the Mediterranean and on the flight path to India and the Far East, led to the building of airfields and other aviation infrastructure. Civil aviation followed a few decades later.
Maltese Governments through the years recognised the importance of aviation, building the first Civil Air Terminal, extending the main runway to serve some of the largest aircraft from around the globe, and developing a national airline. This changed the political, social and economic dimensions of this small Island State.
Yet, after 100 years this country still has a lot more to explore. Aviation is changing every day, hence the Ministry’s work and endeavours to ensure that the future is not compromised.

Contact Information:

Contact nane Contact Name 
Ministry for Tourism
233, Republic Street
Valletta  VLT 1116

Telephone Telephone
+356 2291 5900
+356 2291 5023
Email Email